Delta to Offer Free Entertainment on Domestic Flights

by on July 30, 2014 · 16 comments

in Airline Industry, Delta, Gogo Inflight Wifi, Travel Industry

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America’s number 3 airline is making a ratings grab. Starting this Friday, August 1, Delta Airlines will roll out Delta Studio, the carrier’s own branding of a Gogo wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system called Gogo Vision, and will begin offering free access to movies, TV shows, music and video games on all of its domestic flights that last 90 minutes or more. Delta passengers can access free Delta Studio entertainment through seat-back screens where available or via a video player app downloaded on their own smartphones, tablets or laptops.

Delta features embedded in-flight entertainment on 140 of its planes

Delta has embedded in-flight entertainment on 140 of its domestic aircraft, and will now make them free to most passengers. For aircraft without IFE, free access to entertainment will be provided via video player apps for mobile devices.

On Delta and Delta Connection domestic aircraft that are equipped with IFE (in-flight entertainment), Delta Economy Comfort, BusinessElite and First Class  passengers will get free, unrestricted access on their seat-back systems to in-flight entertainment that includes live satellite TV channels, music and games, as well as premium movie and TV selections. Regardless of whether seat-back IFEs are available, passengers in these classes will also receive free streaming access to movies and TV shows on their mobile devices via the Gogo video player app (for iPhone and iPad as well as Android) or Delta’s Fly Delta app for iPad, either of which must be downloaded pre-flight.

For Economy passengers, access to a limited selection of free on-demand movies and TV shows will be available, while premium entertainment content will cost $6 per movie and $1 for each TV episode.

At present, Delta has 140 domestic aircraft equipped with embedded IFE, and as part of its fleet-wide interiors upgrade program, the airline plans to add these seat-back entertainment systems to more than 150 additional domestic narrow-body planes through 2016; these planes will include many of Delta’s 757-200s, 737-800s and Airbus A319s. Additionally, Delta’s 100 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft scheduled for delivery through 2018 will also be equipped with embedded IFE.

Though I’m still less than thrilled about Delta’s recent changes to its loyalty program, it’s great to see the airline offering such a welcome perk aboard its domestic flights. In an industry that’s often monkey see, monkey do, I can only hope that more domestic airlines will soon follow suit.

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  • Nick Ewen

    I got this e-mail as well, and I am very excited to see this addition. Traveling home from West Virginia this Friday, so I am interested to test this new offering out!

  • Steve

    Isn’t Delta #2 after American?

  • Mike Furgason

    Didn’t realize this was new, had this feature on all four flights I took in early June

  • AMPfromBNA

    Agreed. I had this same setup on an early July flight.

    And… How will the system know to are seated in EC if you’re using the app? If it’s login based, then they should extend this to all upper tier medallions regardless of seat.

  • JustaGoodGuy

    PointsGuy, I pleased to see you write a semi-positive review about Delta. If this was American offering free entertainment, you would be screaming their praises. The bottom line is that Delta is really trying to offer a better product. But to do that, they have to make money, which means that they have to give away less of their product for free. You can’t have it both ways.

  • Santastico

    Free??? Coming from Delta? LOL!!!! They will get their money in another way somehow. Wait and see.

  • Nick Aster

    Seems like a good move. I do wonder how many advertisements we’ll have to watch, however!

  • Two to Travel and Tango

    Dear American, please follow suit. I want free in flight entrainment AND miles that have some decent value. :)

  • Louis

    Honoring a pre-existing rewards program is not giving away a product for free. Patrons earned the rewards and they were devalued.

  • paulwesterdawg

    law of intended consequences….wifi on planes will now suck.

  • AMPfromBNA

    Just took a Delta flight. The new system asks for your name and seat
    number – similar to hotel wifi when they ask your room. By that logic…
    Why not give this benefit to all customers? As DM, the only time I’m
    not in EC or FC is when I buy a last minute, pricier, and therefore more
    profitable ticket.

  • sacwoo

    As if Wifi on planes has ever been good?

  • WKD11

    I flew a few segments this past week on Delta, and was able to try it out. It was awesome. I didn’t try it on my iPhone, but was able to quite easily open it up on my samsung tablet and start watching a movie. Also when I didn’t get to finish it before my connection, it opened up at the spot I left off on my next flight! You have to verify your name and seat number in order to qualify for the free content. I was really impressed.

  • Steve

    We flew MSP-SFO on Aug 5, EC row 12, with video screens in seat back. Of the movies available, only 3 were no-cost. The vast majority were newer films, each of which cost $6 to view. This is the exact same scenario as MSP-SFO EC seats we sat in prior to August 5 — dating back a couple of years. In other words, this is not a new “benefit” but one that’s been around for a while. Points Guy: please confirm!

  • mrfreemiles

    I agree, this announcement doesn’t boil down to much. I fly Delta domestically and historically have always had the free (albeit limited) content. That hasn’t changed much. But I think the big news is being able to access video on personal devices via the Gogo and Delta apps.

  • mrfreemiles

    United is #1, American (post-merger) is #2 or vice-versa by most metrics. There may be a few where Delta is #2 but the consensus is #3.

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